Ceiba has decided that she will no longer eat Floor Cheerios. This is a real problem, actually. This is the equivalent to a Roomba suddenly deciding that it will only vacuum up certain kinds of dust bunnies, and deliberately navigating itself around the other kind. This basically goes against her understood Prime Directive as a dog in a house with small children: Help me keep my damn floors clean.
She's done an excellent job, historically. Every time we travel without her I invariably have a moment of profound befuddlement after our first meal, as I survey the mess under the high chair or table, wondering who the hell is supposed to clean that up? And then: Oh. Right. We're roughing it! How primitive!
But now, she will not touch the Cheerios. Or the Trader Joes' Os. Or the Generic Big Ass Bag o' Osie Os. Honey nut, multi grain, whatever. If it is some kind of grain-based o-shaped cereal she will sniff dismissively before ignoring it completely. What else you got? I'm really more in the mood for something bacon-y. Or perhaps a nice raw-chicken-tainted paper towel from the garbage?
(Meanwhile, one time I spilled an entire cup of flour on the floor and she went facefirst into that like it was a delicious pile of dog cocaine.)
(Also, she eats DIAPERS. DIRTY ONES. But ugh, Cheerios. Gross. No thanks.)
Now, I'm sure you're probably thinking: Dude. Get a grip. How many Floor Cheerios can we possibly be talking about?
Because I raise my children to be independent and industrious and also I like sleep, the boys are responsible for getting the first wave of breakfast themselves. Cereal, fruit, water, anything with a low probability of setting the house on fire. Every bowl of cereal they pour for themselves invariably overflows slightly and sends Cheerios skittering across the counter and floor. And they pour bowl after bowl after bowl, because they are hollow and never stop eating. Even Ike wants to handle this task himself, although his "pouring" skills are still more like "dumping."
(And yes, I tried pouring the cereal into more kid-friendly, reusable containers. You would have thought I skinned our cat and offered them his insides as breakfast sausage. They cried over the poor empty boxes and kept "rescuing" them from the recycle bin and trying to refill them when I wasn't looking, because CEREAL BOXES HAVE FEELINGS, APPARENTLY.)
Ike also insists on eating cereal with a spoon, because he is a big boy and not a savage, and will painstakingly pick up individual Os, place them carefully on the spoon one by one, and then get absolutely none of them all the way up to his mouth.
And then there's Ezra, my gentle, lovely little klutz. Who has always, from the second he sits down to eat, magically transformed into a whirling windmill of elbows and nothing but elbows, constantly knocking over cups and upending bowls left and right.
It's like I'm buying all this cereal for some kind of insane, never-ending dress rehearsal for actual self-feeding skills, and it's officially gone on long enough that even Ceiba's like, ENOUGH. I'M DONE. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER UP THERE.
So anyway, yeah, it's a lot of Floor Cheerios. And while I have a pretty high tolerance for surface clutter (that pile of unfiled mail and shoebox I was supposed to return to Zappos two weeks ago are at least mostly sanitary), I get absolutely twitchy about things actually being dirty or dusty or sticky. So a few dozen dry and/or milk-laden and/or stepped-on Cheerios scattered across the floor drives me crazy in a way the thick, carpet-y pelt of Legos in the living room does not.
I am also pretty lazy, though. We have a cordless vacuum mounted on the wall in the kitchen, a dustpan and brush in the cabinet over the sink, and a broom in the closet down the hall. The vacuum does a better job in general, but it does refuse to pick up whole, intact Cheerios. It just kind of pushes them around.
Jason will, for the record, use the vacuum to both clean the floor and corral the Cheerios into one general area, and then sweeps them up with the dustpan. Or he'll just get the broom in the first place, knowing that the vacuum isn't technically up to the task. I think this is the approach most grown-ups would take?
Me, I go around and step on every individual Floor Cheerio, crushing them into powder, which I then vacuum up. Ta-daaa!
In summary, I am a very strange kind of industrious, and my dog is pretty much useless.
Right. Like is MY fault you people won't buy any GOOD cereal, like Froot Loops. Whatever.